With the Super Six Tournament kicking off Oct. 17th, Inside Fights will be previewing each of the fighters involved. In this profile, we will feature “The Viking Warrior” Mikkel Kessler. Kessler is a two-time super middleweight champion and currently holds the WBA title.
Born: Copenhagen, Denmark
Record: 42-1 (32 KOs)
Strengths: Kessler has an impressive offensive attack. He changes levels well and seems to have a knack for closing the show. Librado Andrade can attest to Kessler’s relentless power during a fight. He paces himself well and has power in both hands. Kessler has championship experience as he currently holds a super middleweight title with six successful world title defenses to his credit.
Weaknesses: Kessler was outworked in his only defeat, a decision loss to Joe Calzaghe in 2007. Kessler’s biggest weakness is his defense. He can be hit, even though he makes his opponent pay the price for getting in close. Kessler can also be predictable. When everything is working, that’s fine. But Kessler hasn’t shown an ability to adjust when things aren’t going in his favor.
Why He Will Win: Kessler is the most complete boxer in the tournament. He can take a punch yet deliver them as well as anyone in this tournament. His offensive arsenal can certainly carry him to the championship. By the time someone figures him out, it could be too late.
Why He Will Lose: Mikkel Kessler has been fighting at a championship level for years and uses an “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach. He broke it against Calzaghe and couldn’t put the pieces back together. Kessler won’t be knocked out, but if someone can exploit his defense and get an early timing on his punches, he can be knocked out of the tournament.
Best Matchup: Carl Froch. This would be a fun fight, but it is right up Kessler’s alley. Kessler is a better boxer than Froch and would feast on The Cobra as Froch would try to get inside. Froch is too slow to pose a threat to Kessler so this one would merely be target practice for the Viking Warrior.
Worst Matchup: Andre Ward. These two will meet in a first-round matchup on November 21. Power isn’t necessary to take down Kessler. Ward may be the most fundamentally sound of all the boxers in the tournament which makes him the most apt to take advantage of Kessler’s defensive flaws. Ward would benefit from a later meeting with Kessler but the US Olympian has the skill set to topple the early favorite in the tournament.
Tags: Boxing, Mikkel Kessler, Super middleweight tournament, Super Six